Andy Reid on Chiefs' rut: 'This isn't an Alex Smith thing'


Alex Smith remains at the center of the Kansas City Chiefs offensive struggles but the quarterback isn't the main problem, according to coach Andy Reid.

"I think it's not just Alex," Reid said Wednesday, via the team's official website. "I think people do that, and I told you that I've got to get better at doing my part. Each position has got to do better. This is a team game and so everybody has a piece of the pie. You're bringing it to Alex [Smith]. I'm bringing it to all of us doing a better job. Alex is part of the team so he's included in that. But it's surely not just one person."

The Chiefs' offense is scoring nearly 15 points fewer per game in their last six contests, going 1-5 over that span, after opening the season leading the NFL in scoring at 32.8 PPG.

Gone are the big plays, with defenses deploying far more Cover 2 looks to force Smith to check the ball down or make tight-window throws, which he notoriously eschews. The inability of the running game to take advantage of the soft zone schemes is allowing defensive coaches to remain in Cover 2 looks to take away big plays and misdirection calls that work better against man coverages. The Chiefs are averaging 76.3 rushing yards per game the last six contests. They averaged 156.2 rush YPG in the first five.

"Like I said, I'm not going to tell you it's one thing -- it's not one thing," Reid said when asked about Smith possibly missing open targets. "Sometimes people see something and that might not be the primary receiver and so it might not even be in that part of the progression and read. There's a lot of things that go into it. The thing I can do is stand before you and tell you that this isn't an Alex Smith thing, it's all of us. I know our players understand that and coaches. So we're all going to do better and raise our game up."

With the Chiefs remaining in first place in the AFC West, Reid won't make the panicked switch to rookie Patrick Mahomes. The hand-wringing in K.C., however, underscores the reasons the first-round rookie was drafted in the first place.